In Which We Discover that Ballet Can Improve Body Checking

For years we've heard about football players taking ballet classes to improve their flexibility and agility. It's a trend I wholeheartedly support—I'm sure ballet can do amazing things for football players. (And, OK, a tiny part of me just can't resist the image of a linebacker sidling up to the barre.)

It sounds like hockey players might be the next group of ballathletes (I tried) to emerge. Apparently a struggling Swedish ice hockey team is now counting on ballet classes to pull it out of its slump. The Malmö Redhawks' new trainer says that by improving the players' balance and coordination, ballet classes could actually help them skate faster—and body check more effectively. You read that right: body check. Cool! I think we just discovered reason #3493874957 why ballet is awesome.

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Photo by Joe Toreno. Hair by Marina Migliaccio and makeup by Lisa Chamberlain, both for the Rex Agency.

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